REALTORS® aren’t just agents. They’re professional members of the National Association of REALTORS® and subscribe to its strict code of ethics. This is the REALTOR® difference for home buyers:
As a licensed Real Estate Agent, I can help you from start to finish and assist you during every aspect of the process. I am here to answer any and all of your questions and represent you by giving professional guidance and advice to achieve your objective.
There are many legalities, policies and procedures to the Buying/Selling process that are not common knowledge to the majority of the public so I am here to help you with it all!
Whether you're Selling a Home, Buying or Renting, I will be right by your side guiding you through every aspect of the process. I wholeheartedly vow to go above and beyond to obtain the most accurate and beneficial information to assist you and complete your goal efficiently.
I have built quality relationships and rapport with various colleagues within Real Estate, Finance and many other services/industries pertaining to the entire process. If I'm not an expert on a certain matter, rest assured that I will find a trusted expert on the topic to guide us in achieving the most favorable solution on your behalf.
I pride myself on working incessantly to please my Clients and will not be satisfied until you are happy...preferably grinning ear-to-ear!
The answer is "no" you don't have to sign a contract, however if you truly want to get the most bang for your buck then you "need" to secure an Agent to represent you.
By law, an Agent can only share very basic information with you until you have become a Client on paper. (And when I say basic, it's almost nothing)
To protect yourself and your best interest - it's wise to choose someone that truly listens to you and understands your wants and needs. Knowledge and experience is invaluable during the process. Real Estate, Mortgage/Finance Laws, Regulations and procedures are constantly changing so it's prudent to have a Licensed professional Represent you in order to execute your transactions quickly and accurately.
What Does a Real Estate Agent Do to Earn Their Commission?
Are real estate agents really worth the cost of their commission? What do they really do that is worth what they earn when they successfully sell your home? If you do choose to list your home with a REALTOR® how do you make sure you aren’t overpaying?
Let’s find out…
Real Estate Agent Commissions
REALTOR® commission rates are one of the big beefs home sellers have when it comes to choosing how to sell their homes, and how to do it.
There is this automatic impulse many have been trained to feel that tells them that REALTORS® make too much money, cost too much money and are far too overpaid. So, some try to find the cheapest form of ‘help’ or think they can save by buying or selling a home themselves.
Of course, others, including most wealthy home sellers and big funds who invest in prime real estate automatically use a great REALTOR® every time, without hesitation, even if they know how to do it all themselves.
So, what’s the deal? How much do REALTORS® really make? Are they worth it? If so, how can you get the best deal on one?
What Does a REALTOR® really do?
One of the reasons this is such a sticking point and mental block is that most home buyers and sellers really have no idea what REALTORS® really do. Perhaps most agents have done a poor job of conveying this as well.
The general assumption is probably that a buyer agent just shows you some properties online, maybe takes you out of a Sunday afternoon drive to look at them, and then tells the seller how much you are willing to pay. If that’s it, then of course most home buyers are going to think they can just do it themselves.
When it comes to REALTORS® who list homes for sale, you might be forgiven for just thinking they spend all day posing for Instagram pictures and photo shoots for their headshots on billboards, in between picking out new leased cars and perhaps putting up the occasional property listing in the MLS and online. Being willing to part with 3% of the sales price of your property for spending 5 minutes on the MLS does sound like a little too much for most.
Of course, there’s a little more to it than that.
A Day in the Life of a REALTOR®
Here are just a few of the things the average real estate agent will have to do in a regular day:
· Answer an enormous number of emails and voicemails
· Attend office meetings
· Spend several hours actively marketing, finding buyers, cold calling, placing new ads
· Lunch with prospective clients
· Drive around showing multiple houses to potential buyers
· Schedule and meet for appointments with property inspectors, appraisers, surveyors, contractors, insurance agents, etc.
· Update all buyers and sellers, mortgage companies, title companies, insurance agents, appraisers, closers, HOAs, bosses and team members on status of deals
· Get involved in solving critical issues with title, appraisals, inspections, loans and the city
· Run deposit and closing checks to the bank, broker’s office and title company
· Run comps and value properties
· Present offers and field purchase offers
· Host open houses
· Negotiate new offers and contracts
· Get contracts signed as well as all disclosures, and deliver to all parties
· Spend time on mandatory continuing education
· Respond to new inquiries by phone, email and on all social media networks
· Coordinate real estate closings
· Attend closings in person
· Preview and help stage homes for sale
· Supervise repairs and contractors
· Stay current on the local, national and global real estate market, mortgage trends, and economy
· Update all clients and parties to transactions
· Handle regular bookkeeping, legal document storage and compliance requirements, deal with taxes, and hire, manage and train any assistants
· Manage website, update MLS and online listings
· Attend networking events
· Try to spend more than 30 seconds a day with spouses and kids, and remember to check if they’ve been fed at least every couple of days
· Brush teeth if there is still time in the day
Remember that this is not just a 9-5 gig either. Agents must be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days out of the year. If they even slack on returning a voicemail for several hours on a holiday there is a good chance someone is going to file complaints against them or even try to sue them.
Realtor Tasks Involved in Selling a Home
The above is really just the tip of the iceberg and a very brief view of what a REALTOR ®may have to cram into every day. Now here are some of the tasks they’ll specifically have to do to sell and individual home after all the extensive education, training, years of experience and marketing to get in front of home sellers.
· Interview you to understand your needs, goals and circumstances
· Research the market, pull comps, and create CMAs to pinpoint the best price for your home
· Preview your home
· Consult on how to prepare your home, staging and preparing sellers for the process
· Discussing pricing and listing strategy
· Preparing net sheets
· Gathering all the signed documents and disclosures
· Entering the property into the MLS, and posting on hundreds of online channels
· Real estate photography and video
· Creating ads, brochures, and mailers
· Calling potential buyers and pre-qualifying them
· Promoting and hosting open houses
· Driving potential buyers to view your home
· Coordinating with surveyors, home inspectors, insurance agents, appraisers, mortgage companies, title agents, other Realtors
· Presenting offers on your home
· Negotiating terms and prices, and handling all the paperwork
· Managing the transaction daily with many other parties until it closes
· Attending the closing, reviewing paperwork, supervising walk-throughs and exchanges
· Handling after sales care for the new buyers
Most valuable of all can be acting as a legal buffer to protect sellers from legal liability and malicious lawsuits. They put themselves on the frontline so you don’t get sued for making mistakes.
Remember, this is after months of learning and training, and thousands of dollars invested becoming a Realtor. All before getting a shot at selling a single house. Most don’t really get into a smooth swing of it for several years. 90% don’t make it past 12 months because they simply do not make enough money to afford to keep going with all their expenses.
How Much Does a Realtor Make?
It’s obvious a REALTOR® has a lot more work to do than most realize. So, how much do they really get paid for all of that?
We often hear the standard REALTOR® commission or rate for selling a home is 6%. Well, that gets split between the buyer and seller agent.
So, typically your agent would get 3% at the most. At most brokerages and franchises the bulk of agents will be on a 50% split. That means their company keeps another 50% of that 3%. Now they are down to 1.5%.
Out of that 1.5% of the sales price they can have a lot of other expenses:
· Errors and omissions insurance per transaction
· Company office dues
· Office overhead (rent, computers, software programs, chairs, etc.)
· Vehicles and gas
· Realtor association dues
· Mandatory ongoing training
· MLS access
· Website hosting and maintenance
· Phones and phone service
· Marketing expenses
· Printing, mailing, courier services
· Accountants and tax prep help
· Bank fees
On a $100,000 home sales, all of these expenses come out of a gross $1,500 commission (1.5%). Selling just 1 house per month probably isn’t enough to just cover these expenses by a long way. It might take 24 houses a year, just to have something left over to eat.
Many of these expenses an agent has to gamble on or take the risk of investing in upfront for each client, without any guarantee of a successful and immediate sale.
This is why the average agent probably barely makes minimum wage. The National Association of Realtors data shows the average agent makes a gross income of just $42,500 a year, or less than half as much as their average home seller client.
If you did all that, would you feel you are being over or underpaid? Is it even a risk you’d take yourself?
When buying a home it doesn’t really cost you anything to use a REALTOR®
In fact, if you don’t, you are throwing away all the free help.
When it comes to selling, no matter what the value and importance of using a licensed professional, it can still seem like a lot of money for you. Especially if selling a higher end, more expensive property. Can you still get some savings? Because, let’s be honest, it’s not your fault how little agents really get paid.
As with any other service – you often get what you pay for. You don’t want less service. You want more. You want just the right level of service for your needs in your specific situation. All for a competitive and fair price, right?
It never hurts to ask for a discount. Just know when not to nickel and dime them to death and do yourself a disservice in the process. A great way to achieve this is to get the best agents to compete for your business. Agents take on a lot of risk and hard work for you. Far more than most of them anticipate when they get into the business. A great Agent will make all the difference and it’s definitely in your best interest to work with one.